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    “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan Analysis 

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    In her article “Mother Tongue,” Amy Tan explained how her family background, her mother “broken” structure of English has affected her life in overall which led her into struggling of finding her own identity. Although she had some concerns about her mother’s English and her life throughout the story, but in the end she realized that she should protect her mother’s language and started to love her background even more. Amy Tan effectively shows that English wasn’t her strongest course at school and her mother’s difficulties of having able to let other people understand her just because of the way she speaks English.

    Amy Tan’s use of stylistic device in her first paragraph in which to describe herself as a person who always loved and fascinated by the power of language as she growing up the United States, but also admitted that it wasn’t her strongest subject at school. “I am not a scholar of English or literature… I am someone who has always loved language”(Tan 1). Basically, Amy Tan , however, while the one is important than the other one, with people didn’t notice about but she does, loving some thing is taking time and having the brave courage of your mindset. Throughout the story, her tone was admiring and direct which makes her arguments more clearly and understood. She also states, “In grade school I did moderately well, getting perhaps B’s, sometimes B-pluses in English and scoring perhaps in sixtieth or seventieth percentile on achievements tests” (Tan 15).

    Every children has their own abilities to show of what is good with them as long as it has nothing to destroy their will. As many immigrant people think, children who were born and raised in the foreign country have higher chance of adapt to the environment and a better understanding in English than children who learn English as a second language. In overall, Amy Tan wants to show that she was just a normal, average student who work her best to have a good grades which would lead her into success in her future.

    In addition, Amy Tan’s also talk about her mother’s difficulties of having others to understand her more clearly because of the way she speaks English. In the middle of her story, Amy Tan shows how much other people react or understand her mother’s English while her opinion is completely different; she clearly states when she observes “ Some say they understand none of it, as if she were speaking pure Chinese. But to me, my mother’s English is perfectly clear, perfectly natural” (Tan 7). Although, Tan is still confused about her mother’s kind of English and sometimes being ashamed of her way of speaking and be involved in her mother’s difficult situations, but she is still love her mother and stand up for her no matter what.

    As an immigrant, I clearly understand the situation that Tan went through. Both of my parent are from Vietnam and they did not know that much of English. Every calls from their phone, I answered. Everytime a foreigner approached them and asking questions, I answered on their behalf. I have alway been an interpreter for them, which sometimes I get tired of continue doing it. However, they are the people who had alway been in my life, helped me, and even sacrifice their dreams and wants for me and my brothers. Now, I want to help them back and pay my respect and give love to them by focus on my education goals and continue my responsibility as an daughter and a big sister.

    In spite of all, the truth of her mother holds better in English than her speaking ability and can easily reading in high-levels. The story of “Mother Tongue” is reflected on the deluding agreement of the language that can represent one’s education level. This story portrays very well aimed toward people who have to take care of their parents, as if they are exchanging roles with others. Language becomes an obstacle for Tan just because of her mother could only speaks limited English, Amy must be an interpreter for her mother in instances where her mother couldn’t communicate off or sure enough. The main point of the story is to reveal an idea of language that mostly spoken in an immigrant families actually play a large and important role in which to form the language of the children, which made her acknowledge on perhaps her family’s language had a slightly effect on her own opportunities. While it may be difficult for some people to understand it, and it doesn’t reflect negatively on that person, despite what language uses or how it used.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan Analysis . (2021, Jul 30). Retrieved from

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